Evaluation and prediction of polygon approximations of planar contours for shape analysis

Chalani Prematilake, Leif Ellingson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Contours may be viewed as the 2D outline of the image of an object. This type of data arises in medical imaging as well as in computer vision and can be modeled as data on a manifold and can be studied using statistical shape analysis. Practically speaking, each observed contour, while theoretically infinite dimensional, must be discretized for computations. As such, the coordinates for each contour as obtained at k sampling times, resulting in the contour being represented as a k-dimensional complex vector. While choosing large values of k will result in closer approximations to the original contour, this will also result in higher computational costs in the subsequent analysis. The goal of this study is to determine reasonable values for k so as to keep the computational cost low while maintaining accuracy. To do this, we consider two methods for selecting sample points and determine lower bounds for k for obtaining a desired level of approximation error using two different criteria. Because this process is computationally inefficient to perform on a large scale, we then develop models for predicting the lower bounds for k based on simple characteristics of the contours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1246
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Statistics
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 19 2018


  • Shape analysis
  • dimension reduction
  • planar contours
  • polygon approximations
  • prediction of lower bounds


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